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Season appears finished for Little
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Nov. 06 2007
Two weeks off did nothing to help Leonard Little's injured toe. The
pass-rushing defensive end is headed for season-ending surgery and is expected
to go on the injured reserve list today.
"It's still very painful," coach Scott Linehan said. "He has a hard time
getting his shoe on. By (today) we'll make a final decision on that. But it
doesn't look real good right now."
Little visited one of the nation's top foot specialists, Dr. Robert Anderson,
in Charlotte, N.C., during the Rams' bye week.
"It obviously didn't go very well," Little said. "We pretty much knew what
(Anderson) was going to say anyway. We tried to give it two weeks for it to
heal back up. It just never did respond like it was supposed to."
Little has been bothered by the toe injury much of the season. But he
aggravated it Oct. 14 in Baltimore, with further testing revealing that he had
a torn ligament in his left big toe. He played the following week in Seattle,
but on a more limited basis than usual. Little then sat out the Cleveland game
Oct. 28 and had the bye week off as well. But the toe did not improve.
On Monday, as the Rams returned from their bye, Little had trouble getting a
shoe on over the swollen toe and was in such discomfort that he quickly
discarded shoes for shower clogs in the locker room.
"I can't wear shoes for a long period of time," Little said. "It was a deal
where the doctor said it couldn't heal on its own, and it wasn't going to feel
any better if I did come back and try to play."
Little had been hoping to postpone the surgery until after the season, but it's
apparent now that that's not going to work.
"It hurts to walk around, so there's no way in the world I can even consider
going out and trying to play football with something I can't walk around with,"
Little said. "If it was a sprain, believe me, I'd still be playing. If it was
turf toe, I'd still be playing. It's way more severe than that."
Little said the recovery time from surgery is four to six months, so he's
trying to get the surgery over with as quickly as possible to give him plenty
of time to get ready for the 2008 season.
The most likely replacement for Little is defensive end Eric Moore, who spent
the first week of the regular season on the active roster but has been on the
practice squad since Sept. 19.
The Rams' injured reserve list already has five players: offensive tackle
Orlando Pace, offensive guard Mark Setterstrom, guard-tackle Adam Goldberg,
safety Jerome Carter and linebacker Raonall Smith.
Offensive guard Richie Incognito could soon be joining Little on the injured
reserve list as well. According to Linehan, Incognito is scheduled for knee
"We're looking at a four- to six-week recovery," Linehan said. "If it's more
toward the sixth week, we'll be more inclined to have him be a possible IR
candidate. If he can get back sooner than that, then we would consider keeping
him on the roster for the last three or four games."
The news was somewhat better Monday for running back Steven Jackson (back),
center Brett Romberg (ankle) and wide receiver-return man Dante Hall (ankle).
Jackson did some running on the side as the Rams returned to practice in
preparation for Sunday's game in New Orleans.
"Steven looks good," Linehan said. "He feels a lot better. I think having some
time off and being able to calm that (back) down a little bit was real good for
Linehan expects Jackson to play against the Saints. Romberg, who has been
slowed by injuries to both ankles over the past month, also did some work on
the side Monday. He will take part on a limited basis when the team returns to
Meanwhile, Hall did his first running since suffering a severe ankle sprain
Oct. 7 against Arizona, but he is still probably a week away from attempting to
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